I’ve never believed myself to have a voice entirely separate from the many voices I hear, read, and internalize every day.
What would our debates about fiction look like, I sometimes wonder, if our preferred verbal container for the phenomenon of writing about others was not ‘cultural appropriation’ but rather ‘interpersonal voyeurism’ or ‘profound-other-fascination’ or even ‘cross-epidermal reanimation’? Our discussions would still be vibrant, perhaps even still furious—but I’m certain they would not be the same. Aren’t we a little too passive in the face of inherited concepts? We allow them to think for us, and to stand as place markers when we can’t be bothered to think.